Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) last Friday confirmed his interest in serving as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee when the 116th Congress is seated in January.
Grassley currently chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee but wants to return to the tax-writing committee he chaired briefly in 2001 and then from 2003 to 2007. Under Senate Republican rules, Grassley can hold the Finance gavel for two more years.
The top Finance post is open because Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did not seek re-election. Grassley said he wants to support the “pro-growth policies of a Republican president” and “help make life better and empower every individual and family.”
“Looking ahead at the Finance Committee, I want to continue to work to make sure that as many Americans as possible get to experience this good economy for themselves,” Grassley said. “That means working to provide Americans with additional tax relief and tax fairness, so they can spend more of their hard-earned money on what’s important to them.”
The Finance Committee chair will be selected by Republican members of the committee and confirmed by the Senate Republican Conference in January but it’s not expected that Grassley will encounter any opposition.
Hatch said the committee “will be in good hands with Senator Grassley at the helm…I am confident Chairman Grassley will carry out a robust agenda that will build on tax reform’s recent success and continue to make progress in the health care, trade and oversight spaces.”
Grassley was an influential force during his previous tenure with Senate Finance, ushering through the 2001 and 2003 Bush-era tax cuts and enactment of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit in 2003. Grassley also took the committee’s oversight role very seriously, particularly in terms of charities and the broader nonprofit sector. Under Grassley’s leadership, the Senate Finance Committee investigated the practices of nonprofit hospitals and wealthy colleges with massive endowments, among others.